When Harry S. Truman left the Oval Office in January 1953, nuclear weapons were America’s first line of defense. This dependence on nuclear weapons was not intended and was not a foregone conclusion with the coming of either the cold war or the nuclear age. Rather, it was the logical outcome of Truman’s policies and practices since the first nuclear explosion in the summer of 1945.


Nuclear Weapon Deterrent Effect Defense Policy Defense Budget National Security Council 


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  1. 1.
    Colin McInnes, “Nuclear Strategy,” in Colin McInnes and G. D. Sheffield (eds.), Warfare in the Twentieth Century: Theory and Practice (London: Unwin Hyman, 1988), 146.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Imperial Presidency (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Samuel R. Williamson, Jr. and Steven L. Rearden 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel R. WilliamsonJr.
    • 1
  • Steven L. Rearden
    • 2
  1. 1.SewaneeUSA
  2. 2.USA

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